Today the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond MP published the Government’s FinTech Sector Strategy at the second International FinTech Conference.
The Strategy came as no surprise – the Conservative Party have long touted the UK as a global hub for the sector and the Industrial Strategy Green Paper cited FinTech as one sector that the Government needed to cultivate further.
With tech getting quite a bashing this week – Cambridge Analytica and Facebook come to mind – the Strategy was a positive endorsement for FinTech and its merits. Indeed, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen MP, labelled the sector as a “fantastic example of how competition can be a force for good”.
The most eye-catching announcement was the establishment of a Cryptoassets Task Force comprising HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority, to explore the risks and potential benefits of distributed ledger technology. With cryptocurrencies a seemingly permanent fixture in the newspapers in the past few months and the Treasury Committee’s recently launched inquiry into digital currencies, the announcement of the Task Force is timely, to say the least. The Task Force has been asked to report back in the Summer.
There were other less eye-catching but nonetheless significant announcements, including a new FinTech Bridge agreement with Australia and the introduction of ‘robo-regulation’ pilot schemes.
Brexit received a fleeting mention in the Strategy – with 25% of companies that responded to a FinTech census citing Brexit uncertainty and its possible impact on passporting as one of the top challenges they face. The UK Government, however, remain bullish that they can retain and continue to attract FinTech companies, declaring that the “strengths of the UK’s global position in FinTech are not dependent on EU membership”.
You can find a more detailed summary of the FinTech Sector Strategy by clicking on the link below.